Mosque Attacks Kills 300, Radical Christian Group Takes Responsibility
A radical Christian group going by the name of Harakat Abna’ Yeshua is claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack on November 24 that killed hundreds of people at an Egyptian mosque. Is it actually true that a radical Christian group planned and executed the attack on the mosque? Or is another group really responsible?
Let’s examine who is actually responsible for the attack on the mosque. We’ll look at past terror attacks to see if there are any patterns or links.
Brief Description of the Events of November 24
The attack occurred on a mosque, which is a place of worship for people following the religion of Islam. The attack occurred when worshipers were praying. The attackers used automatic weapons and a bomb to kill and injure people. It is estimated that between 25 and 30 people were involved in the attacks, which killed more than 300 people and injured more than 100. The attackers also set cars on fire and blocked access roads. (Source: “Militants Kill 305 at Sufi Mosque in Egypt’s Deadliest Terrorist Attack,” The New York Times, November 24,2017.)
The attack happened on a mosque that is used by Sufi Muslims. This branch of Muslims focus on practicing the inward search for god, and include mysticism in their practices.
Similar Past Events
In February, there was an attack in Pakistan that killed more than 80 people. The attack occurred at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine, one of Pakistan’s most holiest sites, which sees up to one million visitors annually. This place of worship also has a following by Sufi Muslims. The extremist group ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack. (Source: “Pakistan’s Sufis defiant after Islamic State attack on shrine kills 83,” Reuters, February 17, 2017.)
Just a few months before the February attack, there was a similar event that took place in November 2016. Again, the terrorist attack took place in Pakistan and to a Sufi-devoted mosque. There were at more tan 50 people killed in that incident. ISIS also claimed responsibility for this attack. (Source: “Bombing at Sufi Shrine in Pakistan Kills Dozens,” The New York Times, November 12, 2016.)
Why Are Sufi Muslims Being Attacked?
There are several different groups within the Muslim religion, one of which is Sufi. Many other Muslim groups look at Sufism as being “quirky.” Some extremist Muslims consider Sufism to be a threat, and believe that Sufism does not follow the fundamentals of the Muslim religion. ISIS believes that only the fundamentals of the Muslim religion should be followed, and that there is no other way to be a Muslim.
One example of Sufism not following certain traditions of the Muslim religion is in its belief in idolatry. Sufis believe that there are idols involved when worshiping God, whereas most other Muslims do not believe in this process.
ISIS feels that this group of Muslims is disrespecting the religion and is not properly following everything that the religion stands for. This is why ISIS continues to attack Sufi Muslims. The attacks are done to scare Sufis and to prevent them from continuing to openly practice their religion.
The Verdict: Who Is Responsible for the Attack in November?
Based on the “Terror Events” Twitter account (@TerrorEvents), a radical Christian group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Egyptian mosque. This claim is quite possible, because Egypt is a country with both Muslims and Christians, and there has always been a religious divide in the country. The supposed radical Christian group, Harakat Abna’ Yeshua, has never been heard of before though.
— Terror Events (@TerrorEvents) December 2, 2017
When taking a look into the past, there is more evidence that is pointing to ISIS actually being the mastermind behind the attack. The attacks against Sufi Muslims in the past are great evidence for the current attack occurring by ISIS. The terrorist group has attacked Sufi Muslims before, and has spoke out against them and their beliefs.
This time, however, ISIS seems to be silent; they have not claimed any responsibly for the attack in Egypt. There may never be a claim by ISIS for the attack on the mosque, but survivors did mention seeing one of the gunmen carrying an ISIS flag. (Source: “Egypt Mosque Attack Death Toll Climbs Above 300,” CNN, November 25, 2017.)
Also, ISIS did threaten this exact mosque before, which is only more evidence connecting ISIS to this attack. Just a few days before the attack took place, there was a warning by ISIS to stop holding religious gatherings at the mosque. Additionally, radical Islamists had handed out leaflets in the area, encouraging people to convert from Sufism. (Source: “ISIS Warned Egypt Village to Stop Sufi Gatherings Days Before Killing Hundreds in Mosque,” NewsWeek, November 27, 2017.)
Based on the past events, it seems that ISIS is the group responsible for the terror terrorist attack on November 24.
Why Would a Radical Christian Group Take Responsibility?
Since there has been no claim by ISIS for the attack in Egypt, perhaps the radical Christian group saw an opportunity to make their presence known. The purpose of this could be to scare other religious groups and to protect themselves from any future attacks. If this is a new group, maybe they saw the incident as an opportunity to gain popularity and possibility recruit more radical Christians.